Purpose of the Academic Quality and Standards Committee

The Academic Quality and Standards Committee oversees the development and implementation of University policy on  quality assurance for programmes of study, including arrangements for the approval of new programmes (Validation) and the periodic review of existing programmes.  It also oversees the maintenance of the standards of University taught awards, including associated considerations such as the appointment and removal of internal and external examiners. The full scope of its responsibilities is summarised in the Terms of Reference of the Academic Quality and Standards Committee.

Professor Catherine Bachleda (Chair)

Vice Chancellor
University of Gibraltar

Professor Catherine Bachleda is Vice-Chancellor and Dean of Academic Quality and Professional Learning of the University of Gibraltar. She is also a member of the University Academic Board. In her roles, she is responsible for providing leadership, developing, implementing and monitoring the university’s academic policies and practices. She is committed to the concept of continuous improvement.

Catherine has extensive experience in establishing and enhancing academic quality assurance systems, having worked within the UK, the Australian, the European, and the American quality frameworks. For example, prior to joining the University of Gibraltar, whilst at Al Akhawayn University, a not-for-profit, English-speaking, American-style, University located in Morocco, she led the accreditation and subsequent re-accreditation of the School of Business BBA program by EPAS and the foundational work needed for accreditation by AACSB. She also led the accreditation of the institution by NEASC.

Over the past 25 years, she has worked in North Africa, the Middle East, the United Kingdom and Australia in a variety of management, quality, and learning roles, in both academia and industry. Her main research interests lie in the fields of consumer behaviour and services marketing. She was recently awarded Outstanding Paper in the 2017 Emerald Literati Network Awards for Excellence.

Mr Will Bowen-Jones

Head of Strategic Educational Projects
University of Worcester

Will Bowen-Jones began his career at the University of Worcester in the Institute of Sport and Exercise Science (ISES), teaching on its under and post graduate sports programmes. This was quickly followed with course leadership of the sports studies and PGCE PE programmes, which he relinquished to take charge of Learning and Teaching in the Institute. He held this title from 2004 until 2013, while also adding the title of Head of Quality Enhancement and he was promoted to Associate Head in 2008. During his time in ISES he led a wide range of strategic enhancement initiatives, all of which were designed to improve the student experience. In recognition of his work he was made a Senior Teaching Fellow of the University in 2011.

He is a regular presenter at UK national conferences (e.g. HEA, HEIR), where he also leads workshops on a range of initiatives. He attends key International Learning and Teaching Conferences, (e.g. EDULEARN and INTED) – not only as a presenter but also as Chair of conference symposia. Between 2013 and 2015 he took up a secondment to lead Educational Development across the University and now leads cross-University projects.

Dr Tim Burton

Higher Education Consultant
University of Hull

Until October 2016, Tim Burton was the Head of Standards, Quality and Enhancement at QAA (Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, UK) having joined QAA as an Assistant Director in 2009.

He has an LLB and in 1991 graduated with a PhD from the University of Hull with a thesis entitled: ‘Public participation – principles and practice: The legal regulation of water pollution.’

Prior to QAA he was at the University of Hull, as a lecturer in law for six years before working in student administration and then the University Quality Office as Senior Quality Officer (from 2003). During that time he was an Audit Secretary for QAA and an active member of the Academic Registrars’ Quality Practitioners’ Group, the Northern Universities Consortium and the Quality Strategy Network. Responsibilities included developing regulations and procedures on various aspects of quality assurance, including plagiarism and other forms of academic misconduct, and investigating complaints by students.

At QAA he led the team responsible for the maintenance and enhancement of the UK Quality Code for Higher Education and for working with higher education providers to embed the Quality Code in their practice. He has a particular interest in external examining, the quality assurance of learning and teaching and assessment, having led the development of those chapters within the Quality Code, and having developed a guide for early career staff about assessment. He was a member of the OIA Steering Group which produced their Good Practice Framework on complaints and appeals and contributed to HEA work on assessment and external examining.

He is now an independent higher education consultant specialising in assisting universities and colleges in developing their academic standards and quality frameworks

Professor Peter Bush

Consultant and Emeritus Professor
The University of Northampton

A geography graduate of University College London and holding a PhD from the University of Leeds in 1970, I was successively Senior and Principal lecturer in Geography at Staffordshire University before moving in 1981 to Glasgow Caledonian University as Head of the Humanities Department. I was subsequently appointed Vice Principal with a remit to lead on quality assurance and develop a portfolio of Continuing Education opportunities. The title of Professor of Higher Education was conferred in 1991, and endorsed subsequently by the Open University and the University of Northampton.  I joined the Open University as Regional Director for South-West England in 2000, serving also as Director in Wales and then as Head of Regional Collaboration and Partnerships. In 2005, I was appointed Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic Affairs) and then Deputy to the Vice Chancellor at the University of Northampton, with oversight of curriculum development, quality assurance, student relationships and widening participation until my retirement in 2011.

In addition to my institutional responsibilities in Scotland, I was the inaugural chair of the Scottish Advisory Committee on Credit and Access, chair of the Universities Association for Continuing Education (Scotland) and was a member of a number of CNAA and HEQC Committees, and served on the Joint Planning Group (established in 1996 under the Secretary of State) that reviewed UK quality assurance and which led to the establishment of the QAA.  I was appointed as a Great Britain representative on the Northern Ireland Higher Education Council for eight years from 1992. I chaired educational partnership meetings in Northamptonshire, led the development of University of Northampton links with county FE Colleges, and served on the Widening Participation Advisory Committee of the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) from 2009- 2014. I served as a member of HEFCE’s widening participation/student opportunity committee from 2009-2015.

I was first appointed as a QAA (initially HEQC) reviewer/auditor in 1993, and have since then been a member of review panels, operating across a range of audit/review methodologies, for a number of Universities in England, Scotland, Wales and overseas.   From 2011, I have undertaken a range of QAA institutional reviews of universities and colleges, as well as auditing Colleges providing programmes for international students and those delivering Early Years Teacher programmes, and serving on scrutiny panels assessing proposals from institutions seeking the authority to award Taught Degrees. I have acted as a consultant to a number of English universities advising on quality assurance matters.  I served as an independent governor of Southampton Solent University from 2009-2015, and was an external member of the Academic Board of Arden University from 2012 to 2016. I was appointed to the Hong Kong Quality Assurance Council’s Register of Auditors for the higher education audit cycles for 2014-2016 and 2017-2019.

Dr Darren Fa

Director of Academic Programmes and Research
University of Gibraltar

Dr Darren Fa is currently the Director of Academic Programmes and Research at the University of Gibraltar. After obtaining his PhD in Biological Oceanography from the University of Southampton In 1998, he then moved to the Gibraltar Museum in 1999 as Education and Research Officer, where he also read for a Masters Degree in Museums Studies from the University of Leicester (2004).He was principal investigator on a number of EU and EFCHED funded projects, and received several international awards as part of the Museum team.  He has published over 70 peer-reviewed articles in various international journals and book chapters both on ecological and archaeological subjects. As a qualified Scientific Diver he regularly carries out marine-related commissioned studies such as archaeological surveys and Environmental Impact Assessments. He is a director of the Gibraltar Museum’s Gibraltar Caves Project as well as member of the UNESCO WHS working group for the Gorham’s Cave Complex.

He has also acted as a consultant for the Gibraltar Government and for UNESCO on both heritage and natural-history matters, and has written several popular books and has been regularly consulted for international media articles and television documentaries, on subjects ranging from Neanderthals through marine life to the fortifications of the Rock. Darren is a member of HMGoG’s Nature Conservancy Council, as well as a Registered European Commission Expert on Environment and Higher Education and Elected Fellow of the Linnaean Society of London. He is married with three daughters and somehow finds time to dive and play music when he can.

Dr Geraldine Finlayson

Director of Heritage and Environmental Services
The Gibraltar Museum

Dr Geraldine Finlayson, is Managing Director of the Gibraltar Museum, and World Heritage Site Coordinator of the Gorham’s Cave Complex, UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Geraldine is also Adjunct Professor at Liverpool John Moores University.

She has been an active researcher for over thirty years, during which time she has authored or co-authored over 60 peer-reviewed publications, and has presented over thirty papers at international conferences.

She was awarded her PhD by Anglia Ruskin University for her thesis “Climate, Vegetation and Biodiversity – A Multiscale Study of the South of the Iberian Peninsula.” and her main areas of interest are spatio-temporal distribution patterns of vegetation and animals, and the relationships between climate, vegetation, landscape features and biodiversity – focusing mainly on the Iberian Peninsula within the Quaternary.  She is currently also working on the cultural influences on the development of the Gibraltarian ‘cuisine’, Gibraltar’s submerged/underwater cultural heritage and underwater archaeology.  She also recently completed her MSc at the University of Leicester in Museum Studies, and currently serves on HM Government of Gibraltar’s Climate Change Forum, Urban Renewal Committee, and the MOD Conservation Forum.  In 2006 she was granted the Gibraltar Award in HM the Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Professor Ann Holmes

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Emeritus)
University of Wolverhampton

Professor Ann Holmes has an emeritus professorship in Law awarded by the University of Wolverhampton where she held the post of Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) until September 2014. Following her retirement from the University she continues to undertake a variety of work for the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) which has responsibility for assuring the quality and standards of higher education institutions, public and private, in England and Wales.

She also works as an independent consultant advising higher education institutions on a range of matters, including preparing them for QAA review, Degree Awarding Powers, & Overseas review. She continues to write in the field of employment law and is preparing the 11th edition of Cases & Materials on Employment Law with Professor Richard W Painter, as well as contributing to a book on the impact of quality on libraries and associated resource.

She is a member of Academic Board (Arden University),  Programme Scrutiny Committee ( Goldsmiths). & Teaching Committee (Westminster University). I am also an external assessor for Employment Law programmes at UEA.

Mr Derfel Owen

Director of Academic Services
University College of London

Derfel Owen’s career has been spent in student facing roles. Following a period working in students’ unions in 2007, Derfel joined the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) where he led efforts to improve student engagement and participation in the agency’s work, but also to raise the profile of student views and expectations in shaping and developing activities. In 2011 Derfel moved to work at the University of Exeter and in 2014 joined UCL where he is responsible for the governance structures of the University, leading the development of academic policies, complaints and appeals, student engagement, quality assurance and enhancement and student data.

Derfel is recognised as a leading authority on student engagement and quality assurance, he has spoken at numerous international conferences and recently co-edited ‘The Student Engagement Handbook: Practice in Higher Education’.

Professor Jon Scott

Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Student Experience
University of Leicester

Jon initially read biological sciences at Durham University where he stayed for his PhD, on sensory feedback in movement control. He then moved to Paris as a research fellow at the Collège de France before returning to Durham as a lecturer in zoology.

From Durham, Jon moved to a lectureship in physiology at Leicester, working on the control of hand movement. During this time he became increasingly involved in developments in learning and teaching and became Director of Biological Studies before being appointed Academic Director of the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences & Psychology in 2009. In 2012 he was elected to a personal chair as Professor of Bioscience Education and in 2014 took up the role of Academic Registrar. In 2015, Jon was appointed Pro-Vice-Chancellor with responsibility for Student Experience.

Jon has led a number of projects in the areas of assessment & feedback, academic integrity, retention and the student experience which contributed to him being awarded a University Teaching Fellowship in 2006 and being named UK Bioscience Teacher of the Year in 2011. He was subsequently awarded a National Teaching Fellowship by the Higher Education Academy in 2012 and also recognised as a Principal Fellow of the HEA in 2013.

Outside the University, Jon has been engaged with a variety of organisations, including being a QAA reviewer since 1998 and an UKPSF Accreditor for the HEA since 2012. He was elected to the Executive Committee of HUBS in 2013 and in 2014 – 16 was co-convenor of the Physiological Society Education & Teaching Theme. Most recently he was appointed as a member of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Panel.

When not at his desk, Jon is a choral conductor and singer, and a not very successful grower of vegetables. He is also a (fairly) dedicated cyclist and has clocked up over 65,000 miles commuting since joining the University.